ONE resolution: this year SOMETIMES (THE BLOG) will return to the my Top, #1, Main Pursuit…..every day.
Last year, 2017, was not my best year for writing and working on my blog. Current events interfered with my goal, which was to put writing with a capital W at the top of my “things to do list.” Oh sure, my postings were more or less regular, but heavy on the Re-blogs borrowed from other bloggers.
Also, over the year 2017 I posted a lot of my own posts from past years, and many photos gleaned from my hobby of photography, dear to my heart and fairly popular with followers. The pursuit of bright flowers and trees, and the odd-ball occasional photo that inspired and illustrated the blog entries. And Poetry…a newfound love thanks to WordPress courses which brought quite a number of acquaintances and blog-friends in trading our poetic masterpieces. It was in these groups that I found the joys of writing Haiku, and other fancy poetic forms, and my favorite– “free-form” poetry.
So I pledge to follow my true love of writing into the Y2018. Instead of whining and thinking up reasons why I can’t write, I will just DO it. Just sit down and write. Also, I spend a lot of time writing in notebooks….and on envelopes, scraps of newspaper, any handy source for writing on.
I’m already a day late with the “every day” pledge. My post featuring Marilyn Monroe and Ella Fitzgerald…singing “Tropical Heatwave” should go a ways to redeem my lagging sagging New Year Resolutions.
So… see ya all on the blogosphere. How’s that for “trite?” 🙂
I love the way WordPress support people just hang on my every word and serendipitously post the perfect article pertaining to questions on which I am obsessing at any given time.
OK, logic tells me that it isn’t really magic, more like internet triggers that connect information sites with people who want to know. I admit that I have been searching the support pages for re-blogging information.
The question of re-blogging is one that bothers me a lot. The rules of correct citation of articles, papers, and texts are not strictly enforced as they are in a language class at a high school or university. No one whips out a theoretical red pencil and “corrects” what we write, and plagiarism is rampant…although it is mostly not intentional.
Sure, it could be argued that commenters in an online chat room don’t know and don’t care if facts are really true or if they are “fake facts.”
So what do we expect from blogs? At times all I expect is a nice poem, or a page of pretty flowers, an outrageous point-of-view or page of insults. Jokes, comics. How to raise children; How to raise chickens; How to bake an apple pie…all interesting. But I also turn to certain bloggers that are knowledgeable and educated to some degree on topics of world upheaval or historical background on new or on-going crisis spots across the globe. No one can know everything about everything.
This is where the subject of re-blogging comes in. I often re-blog posts from other bloggers. Criteria for a reblog is that my readers know exactly where the piece comes from: who wrote it, the reason for re-blogging it, and where to find it. Sometimes it is difficult to trace back to an original source…then decide if it should be para-phrased or quoted directly.
The new re-blogging system of WordPress is good, it takes care of notifications to the original blogger…although there should always be that information in the very top of an article. Admittedly I’m lax about this, and although try to specify the original source in the headline of the post, and include an introduction as to the author. A link is easily copied from the address bar.
The thing that worries me is that someone will think that a post is mine, where in fact it is written by someone else.
One reason why I have so much trouble getting things done is that I never know where to start. It’s like going on a trip, and Back again…and still wondering what to do next. That’s the story of my life–back in early grade school, when all the other kids listened carefully to the assignment and put their pre-sharpened pencils to their paper and started writing…I always had a question that more or less amounted to: “What did she say? What are we supposed to do?”–-or some other version of “huh?”
The teacher would invariably say something like: “write your name on your paper.” This is confusing, as it assumed a sheet of paper was before me on the desk, as well as a pencil with a working point. Being dependent on specifics gives me momentary pause and a sidelong glance at the neighbor’s paper for clues as to exactly what to do. Does “write your name” mean: full name, or first name only? Uh… cursive or block letters? All capitals or a mixture of letters….on the right or left hand side of the paper?
Asking the kid in the next seat was problematic because it depended on his or her goodwill in not covering the paper so I couldn’t see it–not to mention that the kid had been paying attention. Raising my hand and asking the teacher to repeat the question could bring scorn and/or snickers from both teacher and fellow students, who were delayed while I figured out what was going on.
Is that MY right, or the paper’s right? How does everyone know that? Searching for widgets on the “right” causes a momentary pause, while my brain decides the answer. In my defense I must say that this pause is very brief, and usually reaches the proper conclusion.
Just ask someone…”did he say right or left?”
When filling in a follower request, invariably there is the Name question. Do they want my real name? User name? May I use a pseudonym? It can be a mystery. Where do you live? Do they want my country, state, a specific address like Tinytown, Texas? Or is such as “30 miles from the center of Lake Erie” adequate?
Those forms at the doctor’s office that seem to change every visit? What do they do with the old ones? When they want information about family health history…do they want Grandpa Pete’s rheumatism listed? How far back does the information go? Does it count to give one’s ethnic make-up as “American”–which could mean absolutely anything–or would it need to be more specific, such as Greek-Cuban-Eskimo-African?
And another thing, when filling out that ethnic-origin form…is it imperative that the genetic composition classification remain exact from one year to another? Does a giant computer compile this information and then match it with past forms we filled out? Can one get in trouble for listing an exotic gene-source?
My grandfather was born in Australia. Very cool…but when a grandson reported that fact at a “family tree day,” his teacher said that “no one is ‘from’ Australia. There probably is some semantic misunderstanding there, but it did confuse the little kid whose great-grandfather was indeed born in (from) Australia.
We claim a Viking in our family tree. We find that very cool, even when we realize that half the existing world could probably claim that heritage. They used to say that “everyone” in the United States claimed a Cherokee grandmother at one time. That always strikes me as the sort of fact that is difficult to work into a casual conversation at a party. “Well, yes, some of my great-grandkids DO have Sioux blood…or was that Aztec?”
The earliest memories that I recall are when I was about five years old. I don’t know if that is early, late, or average for “first” memories, but when searching back that’s as far as my memory seems to go. Sometimes what we think of as memories are actually recollections from hearing about photographs in detail. We hear who is in the picture, what they are saying and doing sometimes…our reaction: did we laugh? cry? make an adorable face? What about the little bonnet…who sewed that? was it the person in the photo? All of these details may connect themselves to a picture in an album, recounted countless times within our hearing.
Remember the photo of Dad sitting on that ubiquitous pony, wearing baby knickers and a natty cap, holding a flag or whirly-gig in his little hand? I’ll bet each of us can fill in details…was he thrilled/apprehensive/frightened at the whole photographic event? Grandma, or someone else (maybe Dad himself) recalls each historic detail in rote fashion, having learned the story ages previously.
There’s a photo of Me in a small pool. I am not happy…in fact the little girl Me was screaming. Scared? Cold? Temper? Did the other little kid in the picture smack Me with that little pail he is holding?
I especially like the one of Me dressed like a private eye, leaning on a tree chatting on a little telephone.
OK, that’s enough of that!
In view of the fact that the Little Me is a baby,two or three…maybe four…in those pictures, obviously none of these are actual memories. They are based on information gleaned from someone else’s memory…recollections of tales of impressions of memories–that have evolved into compilations of perceptions of…sometimes numerous…people.
As for actual memories of very early age, I have managed to think up a handful of ideas that may or may not be memories.
One that I think is genuine is a circumstance that I have written about previously in this blog. I was barely five years old, and my Dad and I were enroute to California on a train. It was probably 1939. My mother and little brother were already in California.
The train stopped in the middle of the Arizona desert for some reason, and my Dad and other men on the train got off to have a smoke. Some ladies on the train looked after Little Me. I was terrified that the train would leave Dad in the desert. To this day I can summon the memory of the fear and terror of Little Me, and visions of the desert and mountainous terrain, and sand…cactus…more sand… still come unbidden when I think about my Dad, trains, California, or the Desert.
That is a memory…at least I’m 99% sure of it, because there is no other source of recollection for me. I was on the train, alone for all intents and purposes (the ladies not withstanding) and I’m sure my Dad did not worry about the situation since he had not abandoned me, and knew I was perfectly safe.
Another memory is of that same period, 1939, arriving at my grandparents’ home in Long Beach. I remember the small house with screened porch, and circular driveway lined with orange trees–with oranges. The reason I think that is a real memory is because it was an impression that I had that no one else apparently shared…at least they never mentioned it. Occasionally an image pops into my head.
Today I managed to spend the entire day blogging, with exceptions for hauling the son around and feeding the cats. By “blogging” I mean visiting lots of other bloggers online, trying to get my photos to cooperate, and writing in my blog.
All my writing life I have felt guilty and self-indulgent when I spent time writing for pleasure. Sure, I got paid for it in various venues, and wrote lots as a student, and even sneaked in some time writing short stories or novels that I never finished. I still have four novels floating around aimlessly, with characters and everything. That kind of writing has always been, to me, more of a treat…a sort of stolen pleasure, so to speak.
Not so much that the Writer’s Life is considered glamorous and exciting and adventurous. When I was a girl I had aspirations to be, in no particular order: an Exotic Dancer, a Singer, a Nurse, Psychiatrist, Police Woman, and I should have added– Foreign Correspondent to that list. The main reason I never got far with any of my ambitions was a deep-set idea that “people like us never went to college,” Also, I trip over my own feet and even though I took dancing lessons once (torturing the poor instructor,) and gave up that idea. Furthermore, I was always too fat, as well as being uncoordinated, to qualify as an exotic dancer…I would have tripped over my feathers. A singer? Well I admit that except for a very brief glimmer of hope at being the Star of the Christmas Pageant, the only audience my singing has ever attracted consists of Cats.
Being a nurse was sort of ruled out because of my aversion to blood. In an emergency I stand around saying “oh my God!” and feeling sick. Three of my daughters are nurses, but not me. Psychiatrist was ruled out because of rule one about people like me not going to college, AND my zero-capacity for Math, and illiteracy in Science (proven by a C I got in Geology once…they tricked me on the rocks, so I didn’t do well on the final exam.) The possibility of Police work never really came up.
I might have been a News Correspondent, in fact I was, on a medium-size newspaper covering the wilds of city council and school board meetings. Those affairs can get pretty wild sometimes, I’ll admit. My ideal, my role-model, I might say, when it comes to Foreign Correspondents would be Christine Anapour, CNN’s all-over-the-world War Correspondent. She always looks so darn cool in her flack jacket!
OK, I seem to have really gotten off-topic here!
My point? Oh yes. The reasons I love blogging are many-fold, But most of all I appreciate and enjoy the opportunity to write about all of the things I have wanted to my whole life. I enjoy having other bloggers and writers “follow” me, and am very thankful to have had interesting and write-worthy things happen in my life. I follow the works of many other bloggers because their experiences and wants and rants are similar to my own, or offer nice change of pace distractions. I love all of the blogs–even the ones that don’t have A Cat featured prominently on the first page.
I especially enjoy the classes WordPress offers frequently, the topics and prompts, wide-open field for subjects and for photography–and especially the other bloggers that I meet. This may sound self-serving, and I suppose it is in a way…but I think that I offer as much to the others in my classes and in the Blogger Community, and the thing here is the interaction. (I know I already said that, but its SO hard to choose from among clauses and paragraphs. )
Every class I have taken has had a different, unique character. Some are new bloggers just getting their feet wet, others are seasoned photographers (doesn’t that sound swash-buckling!) and writers who have their own reasons for doing what they do. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I think it has to do with the sense and atmosphere of Community. Mutual support is of course a major ingredient, and for me its the Armchair Travel of visiting exotic places now that I am no longer able to do the things I used to do.
So anyway…those are some true facts and confessions about Blogging. 🙂